As established by Henry VIII in 1550 to distance himself from the Catholic Church and the Pope (and make it possible for him to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon), the official religion of England at the beginning of the Victorian period, circa 1850, was that of the Anglican Church, known as the Church of England. Nonetheless, there were other religions that were quite important in the country, mainly Catholicism and Methodism, which was greatly known thanks to John Wesley and grew under Victorian times. There was also a movement of anti-Church, notably with the Age of Reason of Tom Paine, in 1794, and the apparition of spiritualism. The initiators of such movements where referred to as dissenters, and there were many dissented groups at the time. The Victorian period, up until the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, was therefore a time of religious confusion, but also, as we will see, of great charity, as well as of birth of new beliefs.
One of the major events that assisted the fall of the Holy Roman Empire was Thirty Years’ War. The event that started the Thirty Years’ War was “defenestration of Prague.” Two of Ferdinand’s officials were thrown out a window. The Lutherans violated the Peace of Augsburg by acquiring German Bishops, Calvinists converting princes, and Jesuits reconverting princes to Catholicism. The Calvinists and Catholics had many advantages because of that which made the Lutherans fear the Peace of Augsburg would be negatively impaired. The Lutheran Princes felt it necessary to create the Protestant Union and in retaliation the Catholics formed to Catholic League.
But in 1685, the year in which Locke wrote the First Letter concerning religious toleration, Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, and the Huguenots were being persecuted and forced to emigrate on mass. People in England were keenly aware of the events taking place in France. In England itself, religious conflict dominated the 17th century, contributing in important respects to the coming of the English civil war, and the abolishing of the Anglican Church during the Protectorate. After the Restoration of Charles II, Anglicans in parliament passed laws which repressed both Catholics and Protestant sects such as Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers and Unitarians who did not agree with the doctrines or practices of the state Church. Of these various dissenting sects, some were closer to the Anglicans, others more remote.
Was the Reformation Politically or Religiously Motivated? The Reformation begun by Martin Luther was a 16th century conflict in Europe that would shape the future of the world. Certainly the Catholic church was political, even in the 1500's, however it was religion that powered the Reformation. For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church had oppressed the uneducated and poor peasants for an unjust hierarchical structure. Peasants were captive to their lords, essentially forced into servitude without wages.
The main motivation for the reformation in England was Henry V111 religious convictions how far do you agree with this statement? The reformation in England was the change from Catholicism to Protestantism. Henry V111 played a huge role in the reformation for example he stopped the amount of taxes that were being payed to Rome and he later ordered the dissolution of the monasteries however there are many other reasons to why the reformation in England took place for example for many years Protestants had argued over the beliefs and laws of the catholic religion as they believed some of their beliefs were corrupt. For example the Catholics had a strong belief in purgatory this is a seen as being like a waiting room were your soul is weighed on all of the sins you have committed compared to all of the positives that you have done throughout your life. The church said that the only way you could get time out of purgatory or save a family member from purgatory was to buy indulgences this means that the monks will pray for you and your family.
This can be further broken down into two components. The first problem of church politics was the legitimacy of the Popes. This would lead to the second problem which was the refusal of the Avignon and Roman Popes to compromise with each other as they thought of themselves as being the legitimate Pope. The problem of legitimacy must now be examined. In 1378, the College of Cardinals, under pressure from an unruly Roman mob outside the Conclave elected Urban VI as Pope.1 However, after Urban’s harsh treatment of the Cardinals alienated them, they proceeded to 1 D. Hay, Europe In The Fourteenth And Fifteenth Centuries, London, 1989, p. 301. declare Urban’s election invalid and elect Clement VII as Pope.2 This created a situation without precedent as there was no clear
In the early 16th century, the Protestant Reformation divided the unity of the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation movement began in Germany led by Martin Luther. His speeches and writings were passed on all over Europe with the help of the printing press. It started in response to the rising sense of corruption in the church. For instance, “the sale of indulgences for the benefit of the church of Rome specifically for the rebuilding of St. Peters Cathedral provoked harsh criticism, especially by those who saw the luxuries of the papacy as a betrayal of apostolic ideals ” (Fiero 119).
They had used several immoral practices such as simony, the buying and selling of church offices. And as author Dan Petty put it, “pluralism (holding multiple offices simultaneously) and absenteeism (failure to reside in the parish where they were supposed to minister),”(Petty). Several situations in which the church displayed its power included taxations and practicing celibacy (Petty). Due to the church’s immense power, many expressed fear and became discouraged to contest its actions. One of the main leaders in the act to resist the Roman Catholic Church’s authority and change the ideas of Christianity in the Protestant Reformation was Martin Luther.
Christians were promised that if they joined the war, they would be forgiven of sins and guaranteed a place in heaven, which was irresistible to many people. The motto of the first crusade was 'Deus vult,' or 'God wills it.' With these calls to action from the Pope, the lay public became the 'Soldiers of the Church.' Thus, there were internal motivations on the part of the public to fight the war in order to become holier. There were also economic motivations behind the Crusades.
Thus separation of church and state came into play, with hopes of keeping public morality and avoiding corrupting embrace from the government. Throughout the new nation people had started disestablishing their churches that had deprived peoples from public funding and special legal privileges. The revolution enhanced the different types of American Christianity and widely expanded the idea of religious liberty. This gave people of different beliefs a safe and nonjudgmental environment to express their religion but also threatened the rights of those who undermined church